If you´ve been into the anime scene long enough, by now you should kind of know what to expect everytime Kyoto Animation announces a series – they always look pretty, the story is generally a slice of life about teenagers coming off age, the cast is usually big, mostly female and they wear the crown of queerbaiting. The infamous Free! Iwatobi Swim Club broke the Kyoani rule, however, and gave us a touching story about friendship, dudes being bros and showed us some actual emotion. Thus comes Hibike Euphonium!, an anime which takes the best of both worlds and results in an anime that feels like a summer haze.
Kumiko is a talented but not ambitious brass player who´s bored with life – with no real interest in anything but play the euphonium once in a while, she´s pursued into joining the brass band club by her newfound friends in highschool, Sapphire and Hazuki. Kumiko is surprised to see her old classmate Reina in the club, thus begins an unlikely tale of life itself, friendship and a lot of music.
Since day one I´ve described Hibike Euphonium to be the love child of Free! and K-on, mainly because of the main character – Kumiko – who reminds me of Haru when it comes to the lack of drive or ambition and the “take no shit from no one but don´t really care to fight” expression – this is a good thing, because I´ve really had my fill of fluffy, ditzy main characters excited about life, because hey, life isn´t always a path of roses and games, it isn´t always exciting, in fact, it´s pretty fucking boring most of the time.
Hibike Euphonium knows this, and shows us how these characters find their own personal sanctuary to relieve their boredom, wheter it´s through friendship, relationships or music, all these characters have something they care about, and that´s refreshing to see in any slice of life anime.
To be real, the side characters aren´t especially interesting, their stories are a bit melodramatic and altough some stand out from the crowd (the teacher and the senpai) the real treasure of the show is the main, unlikely villain-like duo, Kumiko and Reina. They don´t care about your feelings, how much you want it and why, they´re just better than you, so they rightfully deserve what they get, screw your feelings.
To summarize, Hibike Euphonium is not the usual Kyoani show, it´s a bit depressing sometimes, happy at others, it´s a story about growing up with two unlikely main characters, so if you are a fan of kyoani (I´m certified Kyoani trash) then you´ll love this, if you don´t usually like their stuff however, I don´t this is going to change your mind, because in the end, they´re still moe tropes, just with a little edge, regardless, Hibike Euphonium in all its animation glory and pretty faces is in my top 3 of the season, it´s great.
Final Verdict: 8. An edgier take on the usual Kyoani slice of life show – if you like them, you´ll love this, if you don´t, I would skip. Recommendations: Free! Iwatobi Swim Club, Kids on the Slope.